ALL ECSTACIES AND INTIMACIES
“Jesus said, ‘Marriage is a major preoccupation here, but not there. Those who are included in the resurrection of the dead will no longer be concerned with marriage nor, of course, with death. They will have better things to think about, if you can believe it. All ecstasies and intimacies then will be with God.'” Luke 20:34-36 (The Message).
perspective again! Would they never learn?
Sadducees’ preoccupation was political rather than religious and they had no
axe to grind with Jesus. However, they were prompted to get in on the act with
their religious counterparts, the Pharisees, not realising that no-one could
outsmart Jesus, least of all them with their superficial knowledge of the
came at Him with a question prompted by their ignorance, and received a
profound response that gives us a chink of light into the life of the believer
in the hereafter. It amazes me how much of Jesus’ teaching on the deepest
truths about God and the relationship He has called us into, came out of
conflict with His opponents.
current concept and experience of marriage, both in the world and in the
church, is a mess because we have failed to grasp God’s original intention,
hence the soaring divorce rate, dysfunctional families and all the unhappiness
that causes, and all the other deviations from this holy institution; sexual
promiscuity, ‘shacking up’ and so-called ‘sexual orientation’. Although our way
does not work, we have not yet learned that God’s way is the truth.
occasion the Pharisees were questioning Jesus about the legality of divorce. He
swept aside their rationalising in one single statement, “‘Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts
were hard, But it was not this way from the beginning.'” Matthew 19:8
expressly stated that His intention was to create man in His own image.
Israel’s statement of faith in Deuteronomy 6:4 gives us the essence of what
that means: “Hear, O Israel: The
Lord our God, the Lord is one.” God’s oneness implies unity in
diversity, unity of essence and nature but diversity in function.
entire universe reflects God’s image in its interdependence and interaction.
Nothing in the universe functions independently. The universe is one, unity in
diversity. The pinnacle of the expression of that oneness is in man. God made
man to be like Him in the unity of our being – body, soul and spirit
functioning as one, and in our capacity to be spiritually one with Him.
creating man and woman, His first action was to bring them together for one
purpose: “The man said, ‘This is now
bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’, for she
was taken out of man.’ For this
reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and
they will become one flesh.” Genesis 2:23-24 (NIV).
made it clear that marriage was only for this life because, when a husband and
wife learn to live together in unity, they will have a foretaste of the
ecstacies and intimacies of unity with God in the life to come. Marriage is a
picture of the real thing and will fall away when the real thing happens.
and the power struggle that often happens between husband and wife ruins that
picture. It can only become reality if they both understand what marriage is
about and learn to live with each other in mutual submission (Ephesians 5:21),
and self-sacrificing love. Jesus is our perfect role model. He gave His life
for His bride, the church. The purpose of marriage is to be a mirror to the
world of what Jesus did for His bride, so that the world may see what God is
like and return to Him.